Originally Posted by TurboCharger
are in Balochistan for even longer would suggest and increased risk...
What was your experience with Iranian escorts, did they 'confiscate' your passport as the did with us?
The Balochis seemed quite friendly to me, despite reports that foreigners are potential targets.
Re: passports. West of Bam my passport was checked repeatedly but not confiscated. East of BAM it was confiscated and I had to periodically refuse to move again until I'd seen my passport if it had disappeared with a policeman into a building. They did understand my position.
In Pakistan my passport was checked repeatedly but never confiscated.
As MikeS notes you can trivially outrun the PK escorts if you are of a mind to. Their ancient trucks (or brand new ones they don't want to damage) are unable to cope at any speed with rough roads and can barely go uphill at all. I lost several of my escorts on hill sections because, despite slowing to a crawl (40-50kph), I would start to daydream and my speed would creep up. I'd look back and they'd have disappeared never to reappear. I would then pass the next one in the other direction which would come skidding to a halt and by the time it'd had turned around and I'd slowed to 60kph, say, it never caught up again.
On top of that I was regularly let loose to travel 10s or 100km without an escort. No obvious reason why the change from escorted to unescorted.
I had the impression that the job of escorting foreigners is as much a chore to them as it is to us.
Having been down to Karachi (yes, there is a lot of violence but it's not where the (decent?) hotels are -- though I did note I rode through both Lea Market and Malir where much of the violence has been but I didn't see anything) and now back up to Lahore most of the roads in Pakistan are poor though the northern end of the Quetta-Karachi road is the worst.
There have been more attacks on NATO fuel tankers in the meanwhile too in the Kalat area. I never saw anything resembling an attack on a NATO supply truck. YMMV.
I tried to stay in Sukkur last night but the hotels were full, I tried four. There was a UNHCR do at the one good hotel which may well have had knock-on effects and filled the rest of the system. I ended up riding three hours after sunset to get to Bahawalpur. Not a great experience. Maybe I should have asked to camp at the one hotel.
There's no flooding at Sukkur any more and I can't comment on the rest of the road to Quetta.